Ask HR: How Should We Respond to a New Employee with a Bad Attitude?

Ask HR: How Should We Respond to a New Employee with a Bad Attitude?

Bad attitudes can be contagious. If someone in your office is bringing a bad attitude to work, it's best to act quickly and decisively. Fortunately, HR Support Center has a step-by-step plan to help you through this complicated situation.

Question:

An employee will soon complete the 90-day introductory period, and I've recently noticed unacceptable behavior from her. She has a bad attitude lately related to doing things according to our procedures, and she frequently bickers with co-workers about the way we do things. What's the best way to approach her about these concerns?

Answer from Aimee, HR Pro:

I recommend making the employee aware of your concerns about her interpersonal behavior. As she has not yet received any feedback about it, you can present the matter in the context of a review at the end of the 90-day introductory period.

Specify which of her behaviors need to change and illustrate what they should be going forward. Keep the focus on what success at your company looks like. It sounds as though her technical skills meet your expectations, but that her attitude may be holding her back. So, let her know that you recognize that she is in a learning period, but that you expect her to be open to constructive criticism and to get along with the team.

As your company has its own policies and procedures, the employee will need to do things differently than she has in the past. Indicate that you would be happy to help her understand the “why” behind your practices. If she understands your reasons, then she might be more open to following your instructions.

Be sure to document this conversation and the expectations you set. I also recommend that you give her a chance to voice and discuss her concerns. In the event that her behavior doesn't improve, or if you need any additional assistance, feel free to call us back as needed.


Aimee, HR ProAimee is a recognized leader in the field of Human Resources. Aimee was previously the Global Director for the Board of Directors of the local chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. Previously, she was the HR Director and Global HR and Organizational Effectiveness Adviser for an international humanitarian relief and development organization, and worked as an HR consultant to small and mid-sized companies.


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